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The secret is out!

2008's "secret" games come under the microscope as Microsoft drops A first real hint that Resi 5 will make this year...

We already know that 2008 is set to be another barnstorming twelve months for 360 owners on all fronts - with Xbox Live going from strength to strength, the emergence of IPTV (see elsewhere in Scoop), downloadable flicks and, most importantly, a shedload more Grade A games.

Halo Wars, Too Human, Fable 2, Alan Wake, Splinter Cell: Conviction... those are just the exclusives. In a memo recently leaked to media types, incoming Microsoft Games head honcho Don Mattrick intriguingly mentioned "several
exciting yet-to-be-announced titles", which put us to wondering what exactly these secret games could be.

For our patented insights, simply check below. Fresh DLC is also on the agenda for "many of 2007's biggest hits" - expect more Halo 3, and exclusive Unreal Tournie maps.

But Mattrick didn't stop there, unable to resist the opportunity to rub Sony's noses in it regarding the much-publicised 'Madden '08 on PS3 was shat' debacle, by boasting 360 owners would be privy to the definitive versions of both it and FIFA 09: "The next editions will look and play better on our platform," he confidently told the world.

Most enigmatically of all, Mattrick appeared to include Resident Evil 5 - so far assumed by all to be a 2009 release - in his rallying cry for reason to buy into the 360 bandwagon this year.

There's no doubt that - if the gameplay footage released half a year ago is anything to go by - the development of Capcom's latest zombastic fright fest is steaming along at a remarkable pace - so a shock release this Christmas might well be on the cards. If we're being honest, though, we still expect it in 2009.

So... plenty of intrigue to stroke our beards and twirl our dandy moustaches over as we steam into the New Year. Hold onto your kecks, fellow 360 gamers: the next elevent months are going to be emotional...

Could two of these be the secret games Microsoft hinted at this month?

GEARS OF WAR 2
If you're a regular reader you'll know we've already bet the house on this one being announced. Also, you may not have heard that there's actually a book prequel due out in August - the bewilderingly long-winded Gears of War: The Pendulum Wars - The Battle of Aspho Fields. Could that be an indication that we might not get a sequel, but a ... prequel?

DEAD OR ALIVE 5
Bewilderingly absent from joining the 2007 party in any shape or form, it's only a matter of time before outspoken, PS3-hating developer Tomonobu Itagaki leaps forth in his mega-camp leather motorcycle jacket and announces the latest bouncing breast fest. Mind you, with the last edition disappointing somewhat, DOA has its work cut out.

FORZA 3
Another nailed-on cert. Both previous Forzas have done great business for Microsoft, but despite all the acclaim they've still to really knock the king of the scene (Gran Turismo, don't you know) off its perch. Desperate to prove that 360 can still go toe-to-toe with PS3 in the visuals stakes, Microsoft will have their Game Studios primed to deliver big-style.

HALO: CHRONICLES
With devs Bungie having plonked their iconic series on the backburner for the time being, Microsoft have quickly moved to ensure MC fans aren't left bereft of Halo action in '08. As well as Halo Wars, there's this: what we reckon will be a re-telling of the Chief's backstory. Trickier to predict is the actual form the Peter Jackson-produced game will take.

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